Urban centres in the tropics bring increased design challenges

28 Aug 2019

Leaders in the fields of architecture and design will meet at an international conference later this year to discuss ideas and solutions around the complex challenges facing the earth’s tropical belt.

University of Queensland Architecture Lecturer Elizabeth Musgrave said 40 per cent of the earth’s population live within the tropical belt, which faces the full brunt of impacts arising from global warming, including inequality and the migration of people.

“The cities and urban centres of the tropics and sub-tropics are where the greatest problems facing our collective future can be found,” Ms Musgrave said.

The Urban Tropicality conference will provide a forum to discuss design solutions for a resilient, smart and just future for urban centres in the tropics.

“Climate mitigation strategies and solutions from tropical regions around the world will address  the greening of urban space  how urban form mitigates the impact of tropical storms, the testing of innovative housing types, and the revisiting vernacular wisdoms, Ms Musgrave said.

Modern architecture in the tropics has a rich history of innovation and lessons from the recent past will also be discussed.

It’s the first time the International Network of Tropical Architecture has convened in Australia.

“Hosting this conference in Brisbane brings discourse to a sub-tropical city at the crossroads of cultures, regions and climate zones,” Ms Musgrave said.

“It provides an opportunity to enhance dialogue between developed and developing nations across the globe.”

Keynote speakers from Brazil, Sri Lanka, Zanzibar and Portugal will address topical issues across disciplinary boundaries including innovative development, resilient housing typologies, green urbanism and tropical modernism.

A workshop on Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL), an emerging area of UNESCO concern will be one of the highlights of Urban Tropicality.

The conference will run 5-8 December 2019 at The University of Queensland’s School of Architecture.

Media: Elizabeth Musgrave, e.musgrave@uq.edu.au +61 7 3365 3792, +61 438 702851; Dr Pedro Guedes, p.guedes@uq.edu.au,